WhatsApp Business Platform/API with Twilio: A step-by-step guide

Niloofar Kavousi
Published January 5, 2023
Last updated February 12, 2023
WhatsApp Business Platform/API with Twilio: A step-by-step guide

Table of contents

Twilio is one of Meta’s official Business Solution Providers (BSP) that grants businesses access to the WhatsApp Business Platform/API. The entire process can take 2-4 weeks.


1. Create a WhatsApp Sender

Creating a WhatsApp Sender means registering the phone number that you want to use for WhatsApp. Here are the steps:

1.1. Log into your Twilio Console.

1.2. In your Twilio console, select Messaging, Senders, and then WhatsApp Senders. This takes you to the WhatsApp Enabled Senders section of the console.

1.3. Review the information and select Get Started.

1.4. Review WhatsApp’s Terms of Service and check the box if you agree to them. Select Confirm.

1.5. Select the phone number you want to connect to WhatsApp Business Platform/API. You can use a Twilio Number or your own phone number.

Every Twilio account can be connected to only one WhatsApp account. In the following steps, you must use the phone number you selected in the previous step to create a WhatsApp Business account.

2.1. Click on Log in with Facebook. A window will pop up. Do not close the pop-up window or navigate to a different page on your Twilio Console.

Put your Facebook Business account credentials to log in, or click Continue as [your name] if you’re already signed in.

2.2. On the next page, you’ll see an overview of the 3-step setup process:

  • Create your Meta and WhatsApp Business Account
  • Create your WhatsApp Business Profile
  • Verify your WhatsApp Business number

        Click on Get Started.

2.3. Facebook asks you to allow connecting your WhatsApp Business account to Twilio. Click Continue.

On the next screen, select your Meta Business Account. Click Continue.

2.4. Create your WhatsApp Business Account - Under Create new WhatsApp Business Account, choose a name for your business. This name will not be visible to your customers and is only seen in your Facebook account.

If you have previously onboarded a WhatsApp sender in this Twilio account, a WhatsApp Business Account has already been linked to your Twilio account. You must select the same WhatsApp Business Account in this step.

Select your Timezone and your WhatsApp account. Press Continue.

3. Create your WhatsApp Business Profile

The information you need to fill in on the following two steps will be visible to your users.

3.1. Choose your Display name. It must follow the guidelines mentioned in Best Practices for Display Names on WhatsApp Business Platform/API. Press Continue.

3.2. Select your Category, and add a helpful Business Description for your customers. Click Continue to Step 3.

4. Verify your WhatsApp Business number

4.1. Enter your phone number and select your desired method of receiving a code (SMS or call). Select Send Code.

If you’re using a Twilio number with SMS capabilities and select SMS, the code appears in your Twilio Console.

If you’re using a Twilio number with Voice capabilities and want to receive the code via a call, please follow these instructions.

If you have your own number, select either of the methods via which you can receive a code. If it’s a virtual number, it’s best to select “Voice”.

4.2. Key in the verification code and click Verify.

Click OK on the next screen and the pop-up window closes.

That’s it. Your WhatsApp Business account is created and linked to your Twilio account.

5. Register your number with WhatsApp

Twilio registers your number with your WhatsApp Business account. The process can take up to 2 minutes. Once registered, you’ll see the number on your Twilio Console.

You can click Edit Sender to update the rest of your WhatsApp Business profile, including your profile picture and website.

If you haven’t verified your Facebook Business account, at this point you can only have up to 2 phone numbers (WhatsApp senders) and you may send up to 50 business-initiated messages to 50 unique customers in a rolling 24-hour period from each sender. You may not apply for an Official Business Account (OBA) status (green checkmark) without a verified Facebook Business account.

If you want to verify your Facebook Business account, please follow the instructions in our How to verify your Facebook Business Account article.

6. Onboard additional numbers

If you want to add additional numbers to your account, repeat this process. Make sure to select the same Meta Business Manager account and WhatsApp Business Account. The WhatsApp Business currently linked to your Twilio account is shown in the Twilio Console. These numbers will have a pending status until you verify your Facebook Business account.

7. Connect your WhatsApp Business account to a tool of your choice

With your WhatsApp Business account, you have gotten access to the WhatsApp Business Platform/API. The API doesn’t have an interface for you to send and receive messages. To communicate with your customers, you must connect your account to a team inbox like Rasayel.

Rasayel helps you sell to and support your customers on WhatsApp as a team. It lets you run marketing campaigns, create a chatbot for repetitive communications, integrate it to your Shopify store, HubSpot and Zapier, and much more.

Regardless of the inbox you choose, you can receive customer messages without limits. However, you can only send message templates if you want to start conversations with them. In The Complete Guide to WhatsApp Message Templates for Your Business, we discuss them in more detail.

Learn more

If you’d like to learn more about how WhatsApp can help you grow your business, please reach out to us on WhatsApp at +13024070488

We also offer a free consultation session where we go through your use case, answer any questions you have about WhatsApp, and help you build a strategy to make the best out of the platform. Book a call with us here. We’d love to speak with you:

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Further reading

The Complete Guide to WhatsApp Message Templates for Your Business

All About Interactive WhatsApp Message Templates

Best Practices for WhatsApp Display Name on WhatsApp Business Platform/API

One-stop Guide for Interactive WhatsApp Messages

One-stop Guide for WhatsApp Quality Rating and Messaging Limits